Make a claim
Occasionally, some people will have the misfortune of being involved in a collision with an untraced motorist.
Perhaps the other driver had left the scene of the accident without them being given the opportunity to obtain the third-party vehicle registration or personal information. Even worse, they may later find out that the third-party driver at fault had provided them with false details at the scene.
In both of these situations, they would not be able to pursue the claim against a motor insurer and their only course of redress would be to pursue the claim against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). This can be a difficult task, owing to the fact that additional criteria needs to be met in order to qualify to make a successful claim against the MIB.
Who are the Motor Insurers’ Bureau MIB?
The MIB is an organisation founded in 1946 and based in Milton Keynes. They mainly operate two schemes. One it to compensate victims who have had car accidents with people who are uninsured. The other is to compensate people who have been involved in a car accident with untraced motorists. These may be people who have either left the scene of the accident (a hit and run) or provided false details following the crash.
What is the MIB Untraced Agreement?
The MIB has agreements with the UK government to compensate victims of road traffic accidents in cases where the at-fault driver cannot be traced. There have been a number of agreements over time which will apply depending on the date of the accident.
The most recent agreement for England, Wales and Scotland applies to accidents on or after 01 March 2017. Those agreements can be found on the MIB’s website.
What do I need to do to be able to make a claim against the MIB through the Untraced Agreement?
Where possible, take as much information about the other vehicle as you can. In the case of a hit and run, even the make, model and colour of the other car can assist. Make sure that you report the matter to the police and obtain a reference number for the incident from them. Ideally, also take a name and number for the officer that you spoke with. Ensure to report the matter to the police within 14 days, or as soon as it is reasonably possible.
If you find out that you have been provided with false details by the other driver, report the accident to the police immediately. Report the matter to your insurers, even if it is only for informational purposes.
It will also be important that there is some evidence of you having sustained an injury. If you are experiencing symptoms immediately following the accident, tell the police when you report it to them. If those symptoms come on later, make sure to visit the hospital or attend your GP.
The MIB will want to see some evidence that you have sustained an injury and so seeking medical attention and having your injuries documented by a medical professional is a crucial part of proving that the injuries were sustained. If any recommendations for further treatment are made, ensure that you follow up on them.
How will the MIB deal with the matter differently to an insurance company?
The MIB will commence its investigations on receipt of an application. They will apply for a copy of the police report initially. On receipt of this, it will consider liability for the accident. This will clearly only be based on the information you have provided and the evidence within the police report, such as your statement and those or any witnesses to the accident.
The MIB may also contact the DVLA and your own motor insurers. The MIB may wish to arrange for one of their investigators to contact you to make a statement.
Once the MIB is satisfied that liability rests with the other driver, they may apply for a copy of your medical records and proceed to arrange a medical examination for you. This is so that a report can be obtained from a doctor which will set out the details of your injury, the prognosis (which is the expected recovery period), and any further recommendations for treatment.
If the MIB feels able to settle the matter, it may make a settlement offer when they send your medical evidence.
Are there any reasons the MIB would not agree to settle my claim?
There are various reasons that a claim might not settle in a Claimant’s favour. For an extensive explanation of those reasons and what you can do to avoid them, visit our page on Liability Disputes (PUT IN LINK to Liability disputes)
In terms of additional reasons for claims being rejected in the MIB Untraced Agreement, this is generally covered in the information above. It is usually because the MIB has been unable to obtain a report of the matter from the police. Often, the police are unable trace the incident and that’s why it is important that you take the full police reference number and the officer’s name and collar number.
The MIB will also reject a claim if they do not feel that there is sufficient evidence to prove that injuries were sustained.
Can I claim for expenses?
Yes, claims for documented losses can be claimed for through the MIB Untraced Agreement. If you have not retained any evidence of your expenses, it is not likely that you will be able to recover them from the MIB. If you are able to obtain a recovery of any of these losses elsewhere, such as from your vehicle insurer, you should try to do so.
For claims that don’t involve personal injury, the accident must be reported to the police within 5 days and a claim should be made within 9 months.
How long does a claim in the MIB Untraced Agreement take to conclude?
The MIB’s website states “We will make every effort to decide on whether to make a compensation payment within three months.”
From our own experience of MIB Untraced claims, that timescale is closer to 6-12 months.
It may also take the MIB an additional 6 months (depending on the severity and the nature of the injuries) to obtain the medical evidence and have the matter in a position to conclude it with a settlement offer.
If the MIB rejects my claim, what can I do?
If an MIB claim is rejected, their decision will be sent in writing. There will be an opportunity to Appeal the decision made by the MIB. A deadline to make any Appeal will be provided within the rejection letter.
An Appeal can be made on the grounds that their decision is wrong or that the claim requires further investigation. If the Appeal is not accepted by the MIB, it may well be that an independent arbitrator will review the matter and provide a finding.
Will I need to go to Court?
No. Claims proceeding in the Untraced Drivers Agreement will not involve Court action. This is because the other driver cannot be traced and there is therefore nobody to commence Court Proceedings against.
Why should I use a Solicitor to help me claim through the MIB Untraced Agreement?
Oakwood Solicitors have many years of experience in dealing with claims proceeding under the MIB Untraced Agreement. We have run and won many Appeals and understand the burden of proof required in order to satisfy the MIB that an award should be made. We are happy to discuss any potential claim with a client as part of a free consultation and will be happy to work on a No Win, No Fee basis.
In October 2017, we acted for Ms. Burton in relation to a Road Traffic Accident she was involved in at a junction. Ms. Burton was proceeding lawfully and correctly when a motorist emerged from a side road and collided with the passenger side of her vehicle. The other vehicle driver fled the scene of the accident and so Ms. Burton reported the matter to the police immediately.
Ms. Burton sustained whiplash-type injuries and instructed us to pursue a claim on her behalf against the Motor Insurer’s Bureau. We recommended that she sought advice from her GP, which she did.
A police report was obtained and the MIB accepted that Ms. Burton had been hit by an Untraced Driver and that she was not to blame. Medical evidence was obtained, and it was deemed by the GP that her whiplash injuries would resolve in six months from the date of the accident.
Ms. Burton received £2,550 in settlement of her claim for personal injury.
Why choose Oakwood Solicitors Ltd to escalate your claim?
Oakwood Solicitors has been dealing with personal injury claims caused by Road-Traffic Accidents (RTAs) since 2001. Many of our Solicitors and paralegals have been with us for over ten years, already having experience when they joined us.
We deal with claims that range between one thousand and hundreds of thousands of pounds, many of which will involve extensive claims for various kinds of expenses.
When you instruct us, you can expect a friendly, down to earth approach, together with an extensive knowledge of the field which will be used to fight tenaciously with the insurers to achieve the maximum level of compensation possible for you.
We are able to act for you on a no-win, no-fee basis, meaning that there is no risk to you, and you will not be charged if the claim is unsuccessful.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
For any legal queries about Road Traffic Accidents involving Untraced Driver claims, get in touch today for a free initial consultation. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.